Religion in the Contemporary World

Analyze the influence of religion on contemporary social issues. Overview Sometimes the dominant religion in a culture seems to interweave seamlessly with that culture, such that the religious beliefs, rituals, and institutions are reflected and supported in the culture’s laws. One can imagine a theoretical world in which the religious and public life of individuals and their community exist in balance, free of conflict. In the modern world, the beliefs, rituals, and institutions of a given religion often contrast sharply with the codified expectations of the surrounding, globalized culture. When contrasts become apparent, those in positions of religious authority have important things to consider and decisions to make with regard to the tradition’s influence on contemporary issues. What is acceptable or at least allowable? What should be allowable? In this Competency, you will examine world religions through the lens of ethics, sexuality, and politics and explore how modernism and multiculturalism continue to shape the influence of religion in today’s society. For this Performance Task Assessment, you will analyze the influence of a religious tradition on a contemporary social issue through the lens of one of the themes from this Competency’s resources (i.e. ethics, sexuality, and politics). Submission Length: 3 -pages paper Competency Statement: Analyze the influence of religion on contemporary social issues. Type of Assessment: Performance Task Religion and Contemporary Social Issues In the modern, digital world, the way individuals understand and talk about religious issues has changed. Though religion is still defined by belief systems and social expectations, the role these beliefs play in the contemporary world looks different than it did in decades past. Communication between individuals from vastly different cultures now happens instantaneously. We can share ideas and solve issues related to science, politics, and religion with an immediacy that can present interesting challenges to our individual worldview. For this Performance Task Assessment, you will consider what you have explored in this Competency related to religious traditions, modernism, and multiculturalism to analyze the influence of a religious tradition on a contemporary social issue. Prepare for this Assessment by: 1. Re-reading Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 in the Kurtz (2016) text. 2. Thinking about one religious tradition that you have encountered either within the context of your General Education studies or personal experience of interest to you. 3. Reviewing the key themes from this Competency’s readings – ethics, sexuality, and politics. Consider how one of these themes are understood today within your selected tradition. Identifying a contemporary social issue that your chosen religious tradition speaks to through one of the key themes from this module’s reading. 4. Identifying a contemporary social issue that your chosen religious tradition speaks to through one of the key themes from this module’s reading. a. Some social issues you might choose include: wealth distribution, racial or gender discrimination, immigration, the human relationship to the environment, access to health care or education, etc. You are welcome to choose a social issue outside of this list. If you are not sure if your social issue is acceptable, you should consult your instructor. 5. Examining more about your selected social issue and religious tradition and identifying 2-3 resources from a reputable website to support your analysis. a. Note: Reputable websites are those that are maintained by established organizations (e.g., American Sociological Association). Articles from websites should include an author and not be based on opinion. Wikipedia is not an acceptable resource. Then, compose a 3 -pages paper that explains the following: • The contemporary social issue and its relationship to one of the themes from this Competency (i.e. ethics, sexuality, or politics). • Why your selected social issue might be of importance to adherents of your selected religious tradition. • The ways the selected tradition has influenced the social issue. Be sure to include specific reference to the one of the key themes and how it is understood by the chosen tradition contributes to its influence. • How the tradition’s influence has affected people both within and outside its sacred canopy. • How specific elements of your chosen tradition can bring about a positive resolution to your chosen social issue.

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